TRUNK SHOW! Aria Contest

OperaHub announces a contest for newly-composed arias for powerful female characters in virtuosic female voices.

One $1000 Grand Prize
Seven $200 Runners Up

All winners will have their aria performed as part of OperaHub’s TRUNK SHOW! fantasy/pastiche/singspiel.

TRUNK SHOW! will be a semi-devised lyric-theatrical fantasy pastiche inspired by the great divas of the ages, the economic significance of their extravagant wardrobes, and their extraordinary contributions to the social and economic emancipation of women. The script, which is in the early stages of development, will position 8-10 historic diva characters in conversation with each other. Each of these characters will sing one aria from that singer’s historic repertoire as well as one new aria featuring a woman character in a position of power or prestige.

- Arias that are a marriage of classical vocal technique and structure with modern musical
style and dramatic sensibilities, 2-6 minutes in duration.
- Each aria should be for a female character who is a recent, current or future woman of
great social, economic, or political power or prestige.
- The aria should present her in a situation that is primarily fueled by something other
than romantic intrigue although that may play a part.

Arias will be evaluated on the strength of their:
- choice of subject matter
- emotional expressiveness
- active, character-driven text
- vocal writing that is grounded in the virtuosic use of the human voice developed through the classical, bel canto, and Romantic vocal literature.
- dramatic arc
- beauty and lyricism
- compositional sophistication

We will also be taking into account the voice type distribution among our performing ensemble when choosing final selections. Our ensemble will likely include voices from the following types: light lyric coloratura soprano, full lyric coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, young zwichenfach, lyric mezzo, coloratura mezzo, dramatic mezzo, contralto


- We encourage composers of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, ages,
career status to apply; this is a blind application process and the only information we
will use to identify applicants during the evaluation process is their phone number.
- A composer may submit multiple entries but we reserve the right to limit the number of
winning entries for any single composer.
- Payment of prize money will be contingent upon winners entering into a rights
agreement with OperaHub to cover the use of the composer’s aria in the TRUNK
SHOW! stage production.
- Contest is open to United States Citizens and Permanent Residents only.
- The historical divas we will be portraying created roles for composers such as Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, Wagner, Debussy, Massenet, and Verdi and successful arias will make a strong impression in relation to the music of these composers.
- Arias may be dramatic or comic.
- Arias may or may not subvert conventional vocal/character types.
- The character need not be the protagonist of the larger “story” if the composer is
thinking of the aria in the context of a larger work.
- The aria can either exist on its own or be part of/grow into a part of a larger work that is
its own opus.
- Questions should be addressed to

Submitting your application:
- Section 1: Fill out your contact information on the google form linked here:
- Section 2: Submissions should be emailed to They should be formatted as either one (preferred) or two PDF documents.
o 2A: Information Sheet
- Ten-Digit Telephone number
- Aria Title
- Character Name and Description
- Summary of the character’s situation or dilemma ! Text of aria (and English translation, if applicable)
o 2B: Aria sheet music

1 May 2017